Carrying the shopping can improve strength in over-65s, say experts

Carrying the shopping can improve strength in over-65s, say experts

Carrying the shopping can improve strength in over-65s, say experts

Carrying the shopping, gardening, or vacuuming, can help older people to lead healthier lives for longer, according to leading physiotherapists.
They warn that millions of older people risk falls because they are failing to maintain their strength.
Nearly a quarter of over-65s don’t do any strength exercises, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) says.

It warns that the rise of internet shopping means fewer people carry home their groceries.
Physiotherapists say not enough people realise the need to maintain strength as we age.
NHS guidelines suggest people do two strengthening sessions a week, such as exercising with weights, or lifting and carrying heavy loads such as groceries.
But a survey of more than 2,000 older people in the UK, carried out on behalf of the CSP, found nearly a quarter do no strengthening exercises at all.

 

Carrying the shopping can improve strength in over-65s, say experts
Raking the garden
Nearly one in five people said they didn’t know how to do them, while a similar number said they just didn’t want to.
Falls among the elderly cause the vast majority of hip fractures and cost the NHS around £1bn each year.
Physiotherapists say maintaining your strength into old age can help avoid falls and other forms of ill health.

They argue that encouraging people to keep their strength up – by doing simple things such as gardening or vacuuming – will pay dividends, helping them to live independent, healthier lives for longer.

  • Exercises to strengthen muscles
  • lift weights
  • work with resistance bands
  • do exercises that uses your own body weight, such as
  • push-ups and sit-ups
  • heavy gardening, such as digging and shovelling
  • carrying shopping
  • yoga

It’s not inevitable that we become weaker and frailer as we get older.
Research shows getting stronger brings a whole host of health benefits so it is incredibly important that people don’t overlook strengthening when being active.
That could mean digging in the garden or standing up out of a chair 10 times.
Online shopping had removed a potential source of muscle exercise. We’re carrying fewer bags home from the supermarket because it arrives at our door.
We’re also waiting at home for other goods to be delivered when in the past we would have gone out to buy them.
We should look for ways to build strength exercises into our everyday lives.

Playing brain games ‘of little benefit’, say experts

Playing brain games ‘of little benefit’, say experts

Playing brain games 'of little benefit', say experts

Brain training games may not provide the benefits to brain health they claim to, according to experts.

Instead, a report from the Global Council on Brain Health recommends that people engage in stimulating activities such as learning a musical instrument, designing a quilt or gardening.

It said the younger a person started these activities, the better their brain function would be as they aged.

Age UK said it was never too late to learn something new.

The council – which is a collaboration of international scientists, health professionals and policy experts – has produced a report on the best ways to stimulate the brain and reduce cognitive decline.

It said that although many people thought playing online games, such as puzzles and mind games, designed to improve brain health was important, the evidence regarding the benefits was “weak to non-existent”.

If people play a ‘brain game’, they may get better at that game, but improvements in game performance have not yet been shown to convincingly result in improvements in people’s daily cognitive abilities. For example, there was no evidence that playing sudoku would help you manage your finances any better.

Tai chi and photography

The report recommends seeking out new activities that challenge the way you think and are socially engaging, while leading a healthy lifestyle.

Examples include:

  • practising tai chi
  • researching your family tree
  • photography classes
  • cooking
  • gardening
  • learning new technologies
  • creative writing
  • art projects
  • volunteering

James Goodwin, chief scientist at Age UK, which helped set up the Global Council on Brain Health, said brain decline was not inevitable.

There are plenty of activities that we can start today that can provide benefits for brain health, if they are new to you and require your concentrated attention. They may even be activities that you do regularly in your life, such as playing with grandchildren, gardening or playing cards. Even though it’s never too late to learn something new, the overwhelming message from this report is that you shouldn’t wait until later life to try to maintain your brain health.

New wonder drug hailed as biggest breakthrough in fight against heart attacks and cancer

New wonder drug hailed as biggest breakthrough in fight against heart attacks and cancer

 New wonder drug hailed as biggest breakthrough in fight against heart attacks and cancer

 

A new class of drugs which could prevent thousands of heart attacks and deaths from cancer has been hailed as the biggest breakthrough since statins.

Scientists last night said the discovery ushered in ‘a new era of therapeutics’ which work in an entirely different way to conventional treatment.

As well as cutting the risk of a heart attack by one quarter, the drugs halved the chances of dying from cancer and protected against gout and arthritis.

Cholesterol-busting statins are given to millions of adults deemed to be at risk of heart disease.

But half of heart attacks occur in people who do not have high cholesterol at all.

Now scientists have found that reducing inflammation in the body can protect against a host of conditions – with a ìreally dramatic effectî on cancer deaths.

The drug canakinumab, given by injection every three months – cut repeat heart attacks by one quarter. Statins cut the risk by around 15 per cent.

Experts said the findings have ìfar-reachingî implications for the 200,000 people a year in Britain who suffer a heart attack.
Statins
Statins are given to millions of adults deemed to be at risk of heart disease

And they called for urgent trials to further examine the impact of the medication on cancer.

Professor Paul Ridker of Harvard Medical School, presenting his findings at the European Society of Cardiology congress in Barcelona yesterday, said it opens up a ‘third front’ in the war on heart disease.

The landmark study tracked 10,000 heart attack victims who were given canakinumab, a drug which targets inflammation.

Typically, around a quarter of survivors will go on to have another event within five years, despite taking statins.

Novartis
Novartis headquarters

The four-year study found those given the new treatment saw a 24 per cent reduction in heart attacks and 17 per cent fall in angina, while those on the highest dose saw cancer deaths fall by 51 per cent.

Speaking at the worldís biggest gathering of heart experts, Harvard scientists said the approach promises to ‘usher in a new era’ of treatment.

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These findings represent the end game of more than two decades of research, stemming from a critical observation: Half of heart attacks occur in people who do not have high cholesterol.

For the first time, the researchers have been able to definitively show that lowering inflammation independent of cholesterol reduces cardiovascular risk.

The findings had ‘far-reaching implications,’ opening up a new generation of treatment. In their lifetime, they’ve gotten to see three broad eras of preventative cardiology. In the first, they recognized the importance of diet, exercise and smoking cessation. In the second, they saw the tremendous value of lipid-lowering drugs such as statins. Now, they’re cracking the door open on the third era.

The findings were presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Barcelona and published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Inflammation is one of the body’s natural responses to infection or injury. But it also plays a major role in causing heart attacks and strokes.

The findings are said to have ‘far-reaching implications’

Experts said high levels of inflammation were associated with a variety of conditions linked to ageing, including cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and gout – all of which reduced among patients put on the treatment.

The new treatment – which works by blocking part of the immune system called interleukin-1 – currently costs around £40,000 annually to treat a patient with the drug, compared to just £20 for statins.

But experts say the price would come down if widely adopted. And they said the cost would be offset by the millions of pounds saved from not having to perform heart bypasses and other major forms of surgery. Leading British medics last night hailed the findings as ‘exciting and incredibly important’.

The drug is likely to be given to patients alongside statins – in a ‘twin attack’ against cholesterol and inflammation. You need lots of bricks to build a wall – this is another brick in the wall. Nearly 200,000 people are hospitalised due to heart attacks every year in the UK.

Cholesterol-lowering drugs like statins are given to these people to reduce their risk of another heart attack and this undoubtedly saves lives. But we know that lowering cholesterol alone is not always enough. These exciting and long-awaited trial results finally confirm that ongoing inflammation contributes to risk of heart disease, and could help save lives.

The findings suggest that existing anti-inflammatory drugs, such as canakinumab, could be given along with cholesterol-lowering drugs to treat survivors and further reduce their risk of another heart attack.

Novartis, the company which produces the drug, said they now intend to apply for a licence for the treatment for heart attack victims, and to embark on a new phase III trial about the use of the drugs to protect against cancer.